The joy of seeing lush green grass in the lawns of homeowners cannot be quantified. These beautiful grasses not only enhances the aesthetics of the house but also protects the land from weeds.
Growing a beautiful lawn, especially the science and numbers behind the fertilizers these grasses need might be a little difficult for homeowners, particularly first-timers who have not grown a garden before.
Now, there are different ratios of fertilizers specific for each soil type and condition. Stick around, and we’ll go through them together.
This article will help you understand the soil, different types of fertilizers and their ratios and also the matching soil that fits each fertilizer.
Types of Lawn Fertilizers
Fertilizers are the food of the soil and are necessary for the continued growth of your lawn. Fertilization is an often overlooked aspect of growing a lawn, but this does not negate its importance.
There are two types of fertilizers based on their rate of reaction
This type of fertilizer takes a more extended amount of time for its effect to be felt. It also works for a more extended period. Slow-release fertilizers are good for the long term if you can afford to wait a little bit before seeing results.
This fertilizer’s slow-release over a long period means you’ll save time and resources as the number of time you’ll have to apply fertilizer on your lawn will be significantly reduced.
A slow-release fertilizer is safer for the environment as its nutrients hardly leach into water sources. Its form is usually in a granular structure so it can slowly release its nutrients as it is melting.
This type of fertilizer releases its nutrients quickly and is right when you’re looking for immediate results. You’ll have to apply fertilizers often as the effect felt from this fertilizer does not take long to dissipate.
Its fast-release also means its nutrients can sometimes leach into the ground and water sources contaminating it in the process. Phosphorus is a strong water contaminant which has caused havoc in some areas.
Its fast-release nature can also cause grass burn and leave brown grass patches all over your lawn.
Fast-release fertilizers normally come in liquid form or powdered form that needs to be mixed with water before applying. This is why it works immediately on your lawn.
Because of its many health and environmental risks, it is not an advisable type of fertilizer. However, if you need quick results and can afford to use it sparingly, this is the fertilizer for you.
Fertilizers can also be classified based on composition and material type. Here are the main classification types based on their structure.
- Synthetic formula: This fertilizer is made from minerals, chemicals and synthetic materials. The synthetic method is more expensive than the natural method and can be argued to cause the environment more harm. Some of the chemicals used are urea, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
- Natural formula: This is a natural fertilizer made from plants and animals. This type of fertilizer is safer and inexpensive as it can be made at home and hardly affects the environment. Some of its plant sources are alfalfa and seaweeds while some of its animal sources are bone meal, blood meal and animal droppings.
What’s The Best Lawn Fertilizer Ratio?
You may be asking what the best fertilizer ratio for my farm is? This is an easy to understand guide that’ll help you know the right ratio you need.
What is the fertilizer ratio?
The main ingredients in fertilizer are Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These ingredients come in different proportions based on your needs. These proportions are called fertilizer ratio (N-P-K) and are seen on all bags of fertilizers.
Have you ever seen something like (10-2-5) on your fertilizer bag? This means the fertilizer was made with 10% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus and 5% potassium.
How to know the best ratio for your lawn?
With the many fertilizer ratios available in the market, you can become overwhelmed with choosing the right one for your lawn.
Here is an easy to follow guide to a lush green lawn.
- Understand the numbers: You cannot select a suitable fertilizer for your lawn if you do not know what the ratio means. As stated earlier, the main ingredients in a fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. And they’re usually written on the bad in this proportion N-P-K. Nitrogen helps with the lush green colour of the grass; phosphorus helps with root and flower growth, and potassium helps build resistance against drought and diseases.
- Run a soil test: You cannot know your soil deficiencies without running a soil test. Running a soil test will help you understand the nutrients lacking in your soil and the proportion that is needed.
- Select fertilizer type and formula: You need to decide if you’ll be using a synthetic or natural fertilizer formula. This can also be based on your resources as the natural method is less expensive to use.
- Climatic condition: Choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn needs to be based on climate. Different regions have a recommendation on the best-suited fertilizer ratios. Certain fertilizer ratios are more suitable for specific climatic conditions. There are fertilizers more suited to hotter areas in the coastal plains. You should check which fertilizer ratio is recommended for your region.
- Grass type: To know the right fertilizer ratio to use on your lawn, you need to consider the grass type you’ll be planting. Different grasses have their primary nutrient needs. Some grasses need lots of nitrogen to grow; in this situation, a ratio with a high amount of nitrogen is required.
- Planting season: Grasses need different nutrients at different times in their growth. The primary nutrients in a fertilizer all have specific uses and these uses fit into different times in the plant’s growth. The fertilizer best suited before planting is one high in phosphorus and low in nitrogen and potassium. The fertilizer best suited right after planting is one with a high amount of phosphorus and potassium, but a small amount of nitrogen. You’ll be needing a fertilizer with a high amount of nitrogen and low amounts of phosphorus and potassium on an established lawn.
Using these factors will surely help you select the best fertilizer ratio for your farm.